Sead Kolasinac could return to the team against Crystal Palace on Saturday, after Arsene Wenger revealed Ainsley Maitland-Niles might miss out with illness.
Wenger told his pre-match press conference that Maitland-Niles is a doubt for the match, after he was sick on Wednesday. Last week, Kolasinac was on the bench so the youngster could start, but this illness could let him back in.
The summer signing hasn’t actually played so far this calendar year. He missed the two Chelsea matches and the game against Nottingham Forest with an ankle issue. The Bosnian’s last match was the opening 37 minutes of the New Year’s Eve clash with West Bromwich Albion.
In fact, the last time he played 90 minutes was against Crystal Palace. Even before the injury, Wenger didn’t seem to consider Kolasinac as guaranteed first-choice. Maitland-Niles played three consecutive matches in the Premier League in December after the manager dropped the 24-year-old.
That’s not particularly uncommon for a first season in England. Players often take time to adjust, and a spell on the sidelines is no bad thing. In Kolasinac’s absence, Arsenal’s have struggled defensively.
The Gunners conceded two to Chelsea and Bournemouth, four to Nottingham Forest, and just kept one clean sheet at Stamford Bridge. Hopefully the left-back can take the opportunity to prove himself now.